Saturday, October 27, 2007

Challah-back Girls

I'm sure some of you are wondering what is happening with Village Nights - the musical I'm writing about the Village. Well... with the musical revival train a chugging and with Andrew Lloyd Webber not getting any younger - I'm still working on my opus. David Mirvish - call me? We'll do lunch!?

When we last left our hero and heroine [Joshua Goldenstein & Jessica Sternberg] - they were singing love songs from their respective perches at the corner of Spadina and Lonsdale. But all is not well round the Faux: right before intermission we learn that our hero's ex girlfriend - the evil shiksa Taylor McMaster - has returned from Neuchetel Boarding School in Switzerland only to discover that Joshua has his eyes on a girl from the "poor" side of the tracks. Taylor is hell-bent on getting back her mentsch and she'll stop at nothing to prove her love for Josh's kosher sausage. (Too far?)

In the following scene - Taylor warns Jessica to stay away from her man and that unlike her she isn't a "Challah back" girl. Taylor assumes that Joshua is attracted to her because of Shiksappeal. Snap. You could say that Jessica's messy bus is about to get even messier.

Challah-back Girl

Uh huh, this is my Gucc
All the JAPS stomp your feet like this

A few times I've been around the Faux
So it's not like you're the only Village pro.
But I ain't no Challah-back girl
I ain't no Challah-back girl[x2]

Ooooh ooh, this my Gucc, this my Gucc[x4]

I heard that you were talking Yiddish
And you didn't think that I would understand it
People hear you talking like that, getting everybody fahklempt
So I'm ready to attack, gonna lead the pack
Gonna get a Frapuchino, gonna spill it on you you
That's right, put your lattes downs, getting everybody fired up

A few times I've been around that Faux
So it's not like you're the only Village pro.
But I ain't no Challah-back girl
I ain't no Challah-back girl[x2]

Ooooh ooh, this my Gucc, this my Gucc[x4]

So that's right bitch, meet me at the Starbucks
No yoga mummy's, or philipino nannies
Both of us want to be with that mentsch, but there can only be one
So I'm gonna fight, gonna give it my all
Gonna take your uggs, gonna sock them to you
That's right I'll be the one under that chuppah, another yid bites the dust

A few times I've been around the Faux
So it's not like you're the only Village pro.
But I ain't no challah-back girl
I ain't no challah-back girl[x2]

Ooooh ooh, this my Gucc, this my Gucc[x4]

Let me hear you say: don't go east of Spadina
(Don't go east of Spadina)

Don't go east of Spadina
(Don't go east of Spadina)

A few times I've been around the Faux
So it's not like you're the only Village pro.
Because I ain't no challah-back girl
I ain't no challah-back girl[x2]

Ooooh ooh, this my Gucc, this my Gucc[x4]

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Power of Coach

Coach, the American luxury retailer is opening a new store on Bloor Street. Thanks G-d. This will be their third store in Toronto after opening in Yorkdale and the Eaton Centre.

Bloor Street, the Mink Mile and surrounding Yorkville is the Faux Hillary's favourite place to shop (unless you're a recent mummy - then you park your SUV in the specially designated spots for new mothers at Yorkdale and parade your bugaboo around like no one's business). Walk into Over the Rainbow on any given Saturday and you'll wonder if you're actually at a Camp Walden reunion or in a retail establishment. (A bit of both actually). Over at TNT Blu the question is not which Ron Herman Love.Nature.Life hoodie you need, but if you need the matching pants (if you have to ask, the answer is most definately yes).

But beyond your True Religion Jeans and c+c cotton t-shirt what I'm here to talk about today is accessories. The defacto luxury brand of choice for the Faux Hillary is Coach. You really aren't anybody at the corner of Spadina and Lonsdale sans Coach acoutremont. What did Bold, par example, get for her birthday? A Coach wallet. And as we all know Bold DOES NOT FUCK AROUND.

So why the pervasive affinity for this Americana luxury brand? Price-point? Quality of crafstmanship? Or... is that the Hebrew word for power is Co-ach? Coincidance or conspiracy.

Well - I'm off to read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Nothing like a little right reading on Friday.

Friday, October 19, 2007

In-Bred and In Bed...

They say the downfall of empire is often in-breeding.

Thankfully Prince Harry is a big homo and we're getting married, subsequently injecting some adopted Malawian blood into the stagnant Windsor bloodline. If Liz thought her annus horribilis was the year when Chuck and Di got divorced, bitch ain't seen nothing yet.

But back to more important things... like Sim Sim Sima. As you are all probably well aware, mom is deep into the stage of life I like to call: the Baby Boomer Dispersal. Boomers, who have spent their entire lives consuming everything from LP's to Video Casettes to antique tea cups, are now in complete luddite mode, downsizing their lives from centre hall mansions to pied a tierre's in Yorkville - and in the process ditching all of the crap consumed over the years that have filled various dens, finished basements and mud rooms. Sima is no exception. In fact I'd say her life is currently consumed with an obsession about getting rid of her "stuff". We once had a garage sale where I found her selling dollar store candy trays (thankfully they were on sale for a buck... although I aruged that they were only a dollar because of current price parity with mom's home currency - the greenback). Come over the two-fer, you'll probably leave with a candy dish and cake stand.

This is good news for Bold and myself. We each now own silver serving platters; one less thing to tick off my list of things to consume (IPOD - $229, jeans - $300, cashmere sweater - $250, silver crockery - low low cost of free). Family heilooms have been split relatively evenly between Bold and myself. Anything we both want is usualy split over your typical Friday night dinner:

Bold: I'll trade you the grandfather clock for the Chaggal print?
Me: No way sister. That painting is key to me finding a husband...
Bold: How so?
Me: It's my dowery. How do you think I attract gay men?
Bold: Sex?
Me: No. Art.
Bold: Maybe that's why you're single. [I may be paraphrasing Bold here... but she's so Bold that she would say something like that, in fact, she once told me, "you've dated three gay men from McGill history - none of them have worked, maybe its time to move on? And besides - how many more gay man are there who are graduates of the History deparment?" Girl has a point. If anyone knows a University of Toronto history graduate - please send them my way.]

Papa Len finds the whole thing a bit distasteful and instead spends most of the time making faces at his grandson who is too innocent to realize what is truly going on while planning his getaway lifestyle in AJewJew Mexico.

As for one of the bigger prizes of mom's stuff - fine china - Bold got the good set, leaving me to placate my wounds with a particularly nice cake tray. This is fine by me because most of the boys who have dumped me have generally used the following terminology: "you're ready to register for china, I'm not." Well... wouldn't you know - the joke, the joke is on them as this weekend mom offered a consolation prize: apparently - she has incomplete set of china that she'd like her fag son to have. Huzzah!

So dearest M-Bomb, the Rama, O-Fag, the water polo player, the investment banker and other various men I've collected along the way: I'm not ready to register for a china pattern - I come with one! (gold platted too, so suck on that).

Where I am going with this? Oh right... in breeding. When you grow up in the Faux and you realize you want to stay there - you wind up looking for someone who's going to bring china to the table. Get it? This is a particularly awful realization to come to terms with (Am I that materialistic... the answer probably is yes?), when you're an ardent romantic like myself. But to quote a good friend in describing her current boyfriend, "you want someone who fits." And people who fit often have things like cottages in Muskoka and or raised minten Royal Crown Derby serving dishes. Fit is a nice word for saying, "I won't feel awkward about talking about my possessions, private school education, trust fund and or lululemon pants." Love round the village isn't just about your heart, its also about your pocket book.

This desire to find a mate who "fits" makes total sense and this is why - when I look around my circle of Faux Hill friends - I realize that everyone has a) fucked each other b) is fucking each other c) will fuck each other d) will fuck each other over and e) will fuck each other over until they'll decide to get married (most people fall into category e) on the multiple choice that is your LSAT test of your life).

I was recently at a big birthday party for a couple of private schooled girlfriends: the Blackout Party. Everyone wore black and there were masks floating about; it was pretty darn fabulous. For most of the night I sat with my ex boyfriend on a banquet seat, wondering when we let things get so awkward... Didn't we used to really like hanging out with each other? After making a complete fool of myself ("please come home with me... I just want to lie in bed with you and cuddle..." and here's a tip for other gay men reading this blog - don't say things like that - gay men aren't sensitive, no matter how many cliches have sprouted from Sex and the City and Will and Grace). With tail tucked between legs I promptly left (before more harm was done, like dropping the L word, in a drunken last ditch manoeuver); however, before I could extricate myself from the party a distant acquaintance - Krista - stopped me at the door.

"You and M aren't still together?" she asked.
"But you still like him? I can tell."
"Yes. He just doesn't want to be in a relationship." [codeword for: I'm just not that into you...]
"Well... I just want to let you know that I waited five years for Ted (her current boyfriend) to be ready. I know it sucks because you watch them hook up with other people and its really hurtful, but in the end it all worked out - and our relationship is amazing now. Don't give up. Wait. I know everyone will tell you to move on; don't." While riding back to my apartment alone in a cab, I contemplated her AWFUL advice and the later as I sat in my bathroom crying... (I'm a sensitive lad) I thought... if I was indeed over the ex, I wouldn't be sitting on the ikea rug in tears, now would I?

So why did Krista wait for Ted? Because - they were part of an extended Faux Hill social circle. The long term prognosis for they're relationship, at least on paper made perfect sense... too bad it took five years and a lot of tears for it to actually happen.

I called up Kelly the other day to let her know that Holt was coming with me to the Blackout party.
"You invited him?"
"Well he can't come."
"Because Ashleigh is going to be there."
"So what's the problem?"
"Holt has been sleeping with her for the past year and its getting awkward. Her mom hates him."
"He's sleeping with Ashleigh? But wasn't he dating that girl - what's her face? The one from Sudbury or something?"
"Yes. Jessica. But in between all of his other girlfriends, he calls up Ashleigh and professes his undying love for her."
"How the fuck was I supposed to know this? I can barely keep track of who I'm sleeping with let alone who Holt is sleeping with - is there a blog maybe?"

Mark my words - two years from now - I'll be trolling Jdate looking for a boyfriend to take with me to the Holt/Ashleigh nuptuals at the Rosedale Golf and Country Club. They may not be perfect - but they fit.

And that's Love in the village for you. For your average Village resident, who is too busy working and or partying - who has time to integrate someone into your group of friends? And on top of it - life is so precarious for your average Faux Hillary (will I be able to move back into the Village?) that inevitably there is safety in numbers. Remember - its frightening to be 25 and trying to cobble together a pseudo establishment life for yourself. When you're busy re-arranging chairs on the titanic (as the great white establishment elite clings to whatever sense of power it has left in this city) - you ain't dating outside the tribe.

Remember the wise words of Sim Sim Sima: "Your father dated that shiksa nurse. And then he married me. He knew what he wanted and he wanted what he knew." The shitty rotten truth that no one admits: love (and I'm a victim of this myself) isn't just about looks or sexual chemistry - but love in the Vilage - is about the fact that you have 35 mutual friends on Facebook. In breeding is so hot right now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Quotable Quotes

New season, new series... this year I'm starting a new Quotable Quotes section... get fucking excited. I'll recount various tales of Faux Hillarty through conversation snippets. This way... if you're ever in the Village and are worried about things to talk about as you eat a spa salad at David's you can simply use the following conversation starters and pretend like you're an insider. Don't thank me now - thank me later.

Village Hair Care:
"I think my hair is turning gray."
"Apparently my step-mom's colourist is amazing."

Next Generation
"Have you met his so and so's [mega-millionaire] son?"
"Yes. He's doing a victory lap at university."
"So you're saying he's not the tallest tree in the forest."

"I'm looking for a new apartment. I'm thinking I need a two-bedroom."
"But you're only one person?"
"25 years of living in Forest Hill. I need a bedroom for my clothes."

Friday, October 12, 2007

When a Faux Hillary Votes...

It's Britney Bitch.

No it isn't! It's the Faux Hillary.

Anyway... there was a pretty boring provincial election recently. You probably didn't notice because really... we all have better things to do with our time; like contemplate kitchen renovations [crown moulding?], book winter vacations, listen to Once More With Feeling (the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical) or stalk ex boyfriends on Facebook. Know what I'm saying?

And really what more is to say about Dalton McGuinty that hasn't already been said? The Connies once called him a Kitten Killer, I ask how can the Faux Hillary come up with a zinger, zingier then that? Honestly, I can't. While the election itself was inherently dull there was one hot spot. Upper Canada Old Boy (see previous post) John Tory, head of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (not to be confused with the federal Conservative party, boo hiss, Stephen Harper), promised that, if elected, he would offer public funding to private religious schools. This set off a maelstorm of discussion and created a perfect storm for the McGuinty Liberals, which intelligently rode the "John Tory is going to destroy public education, create a class based society, and ruin our only one true national motif - mutliculturalism" without having to lift a finger. To be a provincial Liberal right now... is to laugh. Laugh your cares away.

The Village, bucolic and peaceful, is part of St Paul's riding. St Paul's contains the Faux as well as a couple of high-rise blocks around Yonge and Eglinton and a bit of the multi-ethnic St Clair and Bathurst. Although the riding is statistically diverse, the riding is overwhelmed by Village interests. The riding is traditionally known as a bell-weather riding. Bell-weather ridings are sorta like the town whore; they support whomever is in charge. No surprise really... the well healed like to back a winning team.

For most of my life the Faux has gravitated towards the Liberal Party. In part this is because for a large chunk of my life the country has been a federal Liberal bastion (And save for the Common Sense revolution - Liberal provincially as well). Idealistically however the Faux is also a Liberal bullwark. Liberals, considered friends of Israel (not to be confused with me - I'm a friend of Dorothy), with their middle of their road politics, have long-since represented Canadian Jewish ideals, probably since the Yids decamped from Kensington Market and made their way up Bathurst St to the land of Forests and Hills.

To quote Dylan - the times they are a changing.

When walking up to synagogue to vote the other day (irony is not lost on me that the electoral proceedings took place at a synagogue...) I happened to notice an overwhelming number of blue, John Tory's conservative (remember the distinct branding, Boo Hiss Stephen Harper) signs. Now any political hack will tell you that the sign war means very little, yet I found the proliferation of Conservative signs was very very telling... there is a sort of public rumbling within some circles that the Jewish vote, long-since Liberally inclined, is migrating to other pastures. Certainly in the current provincial election there was feeling that with Tory's pledge to fund religious schools the Jewish vote would move en masse to the Liberals. In fact one of the key movers behind the push for private school funding is the Jewish community and Jewish oganizations. The Faux is something like 50% yid...

At the Rosh Hashana dinner table a couple of weeks ago my aunt, long-time Liberal, admitted that it was hard to not want to vote conservative, when she has long been an advocate for religious school funding. Papa Len (who cried more tears when I came-out as a Liberal, then when I announced my faggotry) laughed and said, "looks like you'll be joining me on the blue team."

Federally, the Jewish vote is even more precarious. The Liberals are no longer seen quite as friendly to Israel, what with Stephen "I'm a Mentsh" Harper professing his love for all things Israeli, [Harpers continued condemnation of Hamas scores big points]; while the Liberals are seen as 'soft' in their support in Israel. The Conservative's unflinching support of Israel's war against Lebanon last summer, which was domestically panned, scored big points amongst Jewish voters, while Michael Ignatief's Qana flip flop on war crimes during the Liberal Leadership campaign further alienated long-time Liberals, including power-couple Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz as well as the wife of Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice, also publically switched her allegiences.

I'm not going to bother getting into my thoughts on the private school funding issue, or how I feel about Israeli politics (as viewed from the murky lens of the diaspora)... that isn't the point. What I find interesting, when I see the continued proliferation of Tory signs come election time, is actually a bit more worrisome. But are Canadian Jews so finicky that their political support rests entirely on Jewish causes? From a purely objective standpoint I gotta say it makes it look like the Jewish vote is solely defined by religion. I find that problematic, non?

Bet you didn't see this one coming?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

In the Village Charity Begins... at Upper Canada

I apologize, its Thanksgiving weekend and I’m feeling just about the opposite of light-hearted. Giving thanks for all of my Lululemon pants and Gucci purses sure is tiring! Next week I’ll regale with tales from a high society party, but this weekend all you’ve got is caustic social commentary. Sorry kids...

It was in the late Victorian Age that the modern concept of charity first arose in England. After the reformation of the Poor Law in the mid 1840’s hundreds of Victorian charity assications were established with the intent of providing temporary relief to those who were down on their luck. Charity was according to Beatrice Webb, an early British philanthropist, "distinctly advantageous to us to go amongst poor... contact with them develops on the whole our finer qualities, disgusting us with our false and worldly application of men and things and educating in us a thoughtful benevolence." [Pay attention to that quote, k?]

The concept of charity was further refied In America’s Gilded Age as middle class progressive reformers lead the charge for social justice and general equality. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle took Webb's mantra [of going amongst the poor] a step further, by exposing the disgusting conditions of Chicago's meat packing distric with muckraking gusto. Along with other progressive reformers Sinclair and Roosevelt were instrumental in the passage of America's Pure Food and Drug Act.

In post-Millenial Toronto whom do we have leading the charge of charity? Who is promoting populism? Who is seeking out social justice? & who is demanding democratic education – why the city’s one true bastion of elitism – Upper Canada College.

Happy happy joy joy.

A neophyte is I’m sure asking, what is Upper Canada College?

In a nutshell, Upper Canada is the epi-centre of Canada's Old Boy white protestant network. Neoptism they name is… UCC. According to my lazy Wikipedia research the school has produced five Lieutenant Governors, three Premiers and one chief justice, while twenty-four graduates have been named Rhodes Scholars. No less than thirty nine have received the Order of Canada.

Let’s just say that Upper Canada doesn’t fuck around. UCC which sits on the easternly edge of the Village has a long history of providing a proper education to the Village’s youthful men. The school has been synonymous with the Faux ever since it decamped from the inner city to a verdant plot at the top of Avenue Road in the 1890's. Funnily enough if you stood at the front entrance of the school and looked directly south - you'd draw a straight line to Queen's Park, the provincial seat of government and power. Coincidance? Don't think so...

So what does Upper Canada have to do with the concept of charity? Well… it appears as if the school, a long-time bastion of old Toronto money, has decided to open its gates to "tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." The powers that be have decided that instead of educating over-priveledged white kids from Toronto's better neighbourhoods (RosedAle, Faux Hill, Loser Park, & the Brittle Path) 25% of its student body will be made up of scholarship kids from the city's poorer neighbourhoods. This is a quote from the Post article on UCC's recent decision, paraphrasing UCC Dean Dr. James Power, "the more exotic members of the UCC student body will in future come from such faraway places as Scarborough, Markham or the Jane-Finch corridor."

Apparently Dr. Power hasn't seen the first season of the OC, when the kid from the wrong side of the tracks gets pummelled by the Water Polo team. I can just see the UCC Lacrosse Team: "Welcome to Upper Canada, bitch; this is how it's done in the UC." [sidenote: if anyone from the Lacrosse team wants to pummel me - I'm waiting].

While the plan is certainly a benevolent one to this local resident it is a recipe for disaster. Underpriviledged kids exposed, on a daily basis, to the vast display of wealth in the Village and wondering why they live in a two bedroom apartment at Jane-Finch when 75% of their friends live in houses valued in the $2million range, is not the best way to promote equality, at least in my opinion. Last year for example, one Upper Canada family that I know of, took their kid and a bunch of his friends on a road-trip to Disneyworld, via the private jet, for their sons birthday. When you're a single parent in Regent Park, what exactly do you get that kid for a birthday present? Home-made lemon squares?

This isn't even examining the pocket racism that exists in Toronto. I can just imagine the odd morning conversations every time the Star runs a headline "Gun Violence Out of Control in Jane Finch." "Holden, your friend Jamal lives in Jane and Finch right? You don't think he's involved in this whole Blood versus Crypt business is he?"

On the flip side integration provides a lovely bit of banter for mummies at the Starbucks morning latte run:

Mummy 1: "Why Max has the cutest new friend. He lives in Regent Park."
Mummy 2: "Regent Park, London?"
Mummy 1: "No... like downtown."
Mummy 2: "Ohh... edgy, is he black?"
Mummy 1: "No. Latino."
Mummy 2: "maybe he can score us some reefer for our Muskoka weekend with the McAlister's?"

I have no idea if Powers plan and if his grand scheme to integrate kids from the wrong side of the tracks with Canada's elitist power structure will work. American models seem to suggest that it will. However, I'd still argue that instead of helping one member of the family attend private school for 20k a year, we could help the entire family with a mortage for the same amount of money. According to Habitat for Humanity statistics, for example, if a below-income family is provided with a new house, all children go onto post-secondary education; however, in the Upper Canada scheme only one child (and a boy at that) receives help. It doesn't seem particularly practical, in this Faux Hillary's opinion. However, perhaps Powers' scheme isn't solely about charity, rather acknowledging exactly what Webb argued: charity is "thoughtful benevolence". Those who practice it have as much to glean as those who benefit from it. I'm so glad Power is looking out for your typical Upper Canada Old Boy.

I wish Upper Canaada the best... I'm just not holding my breath.